Five terms we use in animation projects

28 September 2023

2 Mins Read


The allure of animated videos is undeniable, and it seems like everyone, from individuals to high-ranking executives, is captivated by the prospect of visual storytelling. While storyboards and scripts are integral to the animation process, delving into the intricacies of this creative journey requires an understanding of certain fundamental terms. Whether you’re leading the animation charge or receiving the final product, comprehending these five terms will foster clarity, efficiency, and excellence in every animation project.

1. Story Outline

Often referred to as a ‘narrative,’ the story outline forms the bedrock of any animation project. It’s the preliminary stage where the overarching storyline is meticulously planned. Analogous to composing an essay, the story outline necessitates an introduction, the core messages, and a compelling conclusion. Crafting a robust story outline lays the foundation for a coherent and engaging animated narrative.

2. Key Scene

Imagine a key scene as a pivotal juncture within the narrative—an event, location, or activity that distinguishes itself from the preceding and following elements. Key scenes collectively form the tapestry of the storyboard. Paying attention to the intricacies of each key scene is essential for maintaining narrative flow and visual impact.

3. Transition

The art of transitioning is pivotal in animation. It’s the bridge that gracefully transports the viewer from one key scene to the next. Transitions can be fluid or intricate, swift or gradual. Mastering the nuances of transitions is akin to breathing life into your animation, creating a seamless and immersive viewer experience.

4. Camera

In the realm of animation, the camera holds significance akin to its role in physical video production. The camera’s angle, composition, and movement dictate what the viewer perceives within a scene. Deliberate camera manipulation adds depth, dynamism, and context to the animation. Understanding how the camera shapes the viewer’s perspective is crucial for crafting impactful visual storytelling.

5. Ratio

The screen ratio is the canvas on which your animation unfolds. Be it 16:9, 4:5, 9:16, or other dimensions, the screen ratio shapes the visual composition of your animation. Different ratios have implications on key scenes’ arrangement, camera placement, and on-screen text’s readability. Knowing the desired screen ratio early in the project ensures your animation aligns seamlessly with its intended platform.